Leicester win again to increase Newcastle’s woes

Leicester City 3:0 Newcastle United

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City got off to a perfect start and never looked back in a comfortable 3-0 win against Newcastle at the KPS on Saturday…

Nigel Pearson made three changes to his side with Schlupp, Mahrez and James in the starting line-up and Huth thankfully recovered from injury. The side were greeted onto the field by a fantastic mosaic display organised by the Union FS fans’ group…
Within a minute the home crowd were celebrating a goal. Although Newcastle kicked off City soon had a corner and Albrighton’s dangerous flag-kick was nodded past Krul by Ulloa with 38 seconds on the clock.

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Although Pérez had a chance for Newcastle soon after he dragged his shot well wide when well placed and City were soon threatening again. A cross from the left by Mahrez was met with a glancing header by Ulloa, but it went straight into Krul’s grasp.
But City only had to wait until the 17th minute to double their lead. Schlupp was taken out by Janmaat as he raced down the left and the United player was booked. Albrighton drifted a free-kick into the goal mouth when Morgan had got goalside of Coloccini and poked the ball past Krul.
Newcastle had their best spell of the game after going two down, but Rivière missed the target with one effort and then fell over while trying to put the finishing touch to a good move. When a Taylor shot was saved by Schmeichel City had preserved their two goal lead going in at the break.

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City came racing off the blocks again in the second half and were soon awarded a penalty when Wasilewski was barged in the back by Rivière. Ulloa got his second of the game blasting his effort high into the net from 12 yards.
But they couldn’t add to the scoreline despite Newcastle being reduced to 10 and then 9 men.
Albrighton sent a shot narrowly wide and then Ulloa was denied a hat-trick when Krul clawed the Argentinian’s header over the bar.
United then lost Williamson to his second yellow when he sent Vardy crashing into a, thankfully well padded, tv camera base as the ball was going out of play.
The game was broken up by a series of substitutions with De Laet on for Wasilewski and then Hammond replacing Cambiasso and Kramarić coming on for Ulloa.

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Janmaat couldn’t cope with Vardy’s string running and was dismissed for a foul which put a lid on Newcastle’s miserable afternoon.
Five wins in six games have given City a fighting chance retain their Premier League status, while eight defeats on the trot have dragged Newcastle into trouble. After the game a furious John Carver suggested that Williamson had got himself dismissed on purpose as an “easy way out.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Morgan, James, Vardy, Albrighton, Huth, Schlupp, Cambiasso (Hammond 74), Ulloa (Kramarić 78), Mahrez, Wasilewski (De Laet 68). Subs Not Used: Konchesky, Drinkwater, Schwarzer, Wood.
Newcastle: Krul, Coloccini, Taylor (De Jong 58), Williamson, Sissoko, Colback, Pérez (Armstrong 74), Gutiérrez, Janmaat, Rivière (Anita 64), Dummett. Subs Not Used: Cabella, Ameobi, Abeid, Woodman.
Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 31,576.

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Chelsea see off Leicester resistance with a champion display

Leicester City 1:3 Chelsea

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Despite a half-time lead, City’s winning run was halted by champions-in-waiting Chelsea at the KPS on Wednesday night…

Despite the rumours that he might field a weakened team against the best side in the country Nigel Pearson retained the starting XI that won at Burnley, and they competed very well with Chelsea despite a couple of first half set-backs.
In the 18th minute King’s 300th appearance for City ended prematurely when he limped off to be replaced by James; and then, just six minutes later, Huth had to go off after unsuccessfully trying to run off an earlier knock , with De Laet coming on and Wasilewski moving into the middle.
In a tight game Chelsea had the first real chance in the 29th minute when Willian set up Drogba who fired his shot off-target.
James then cleared a Fàbregas cross as Chelsea began to get their attacking game together, but it was City who ended the half on top.
An Albrighton cross found Konchesky, but his effort was well saved by Čech. The ball remained in the danger area and a goalmouth scramble ensued with Cambiasso setting up Albrighton, for a shot that was blocked by Cahill before the visitors’ defence finally managed to scramble it clear.
But City lifted the roof off the KPS taking the lead on the stroke of half-time. James sent Vardy in down the left and his low cross saw a slip from Azpilicueta, allowing Albrighton to pick his spot past Cech.

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The stadium was buzzing during the half time interval, but sadly reality kicked in soon after the restart. In the 48th minute Ivanović’s square ball to Drogba was fired home from 12 yards to put Chelsea back on level terms.
Drogba should have made it 2-1 soon after when City’s defence were unzipped again, but this time he sent his shot sailing over the bar.

Leicester City v Chelsea, Barclays Premier, 29 April 2015

Although City never matched the heights of their first half performance, when they were the equal of Chelsea they held out until the 79th minute. Then a Fàbregas corner was nodded on by Cahill, and although Schmeichel got a touch to it the ball landed for Terry who couldn’t miss from close in.
Four minutes later, Chelsea struck again when Fàbregas set up Ramires, for a fine finish from the edge of the area.

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This was a great shame after City’s first half performance but much encouragement could be taken for May’s four ‘cup finals’ that will decide City’s destiny, although the injuries remained a worry.

Sadly another Nigel Pearson post-match press conference descended into farce and that was to become the only talking  point of the evening…

Leicester: Schmeichel, Wasilewski, Huth (De Laet 24), Morgan, Albrighton, King (James 18), Cambiasso, Drinkwater, Konchesky, Vardy (Mahrez 76), Ulloa. Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Hammond, Wood, Kramarić.
Chelsea: Čech, Ivanović, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires (Zouma 84), Matić, Willian, Fàbregas (Mikel 90), Hazard (Cuadrado 88), Drogba. Subs Not Used: Courtois, Filipe Luís, Ake, Oscar.

Referee: M Clattenburg. Attendance: 32,021.

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Leicester extract three points from Turf Moor

Burnley 0:1 Leicester City

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Four wins from four games took City out of the relegation zone after they edged a tense encounter at Burnley, which turned on two events a minute apart…

Nigel Pearson made two changes to his side for this vital Premier League basement meeting, with Drinkwater and Konchesky in the starting XI.
Understandably, given the circumstances, it was a very tight and tense game and the first half saw hardly any chances created. The only noteworthy effort came just after the half hour when Trippier’s corner saw Duff tee up Taylor for a shot over his own shoulder, but Schmeichel was well-placed to block it.
The teams went down the tunnel goal-less which suited City more than it did the home side.
City had the first opportunity in the second half when Huth was brought down  on the edge of the area, but Heaton wasn’t called into action by Cambiasso’s free-kick which cleared the bar by a couple of yards.
The Clarets responded with a chance of their own, a Duff header being headed clear by Ulloa.
All the true drama of the game then arrived in one minute just before the hour mark.
After Schmeichel pulled off a fine reaction save from Ings Konchesky pursued the loose ball but caught Taylor as the Burnley player overtook him. Taylor himself took the spot kick but slipped and hit the outside of the right hand post for a huge let off for City.
The Leicester fans were still celebrating this miss when play moved to the other end. Albrighton sent in a cross from the  right which Duff got a touch to, but Heaton only just managed to keep out before Vardy raced in to net from point blank range.
Pearson brought on Kramarić for Ulloa and De Laet for Albrighton, as City dug in to defend a priceless lead.
The closest the Clarets got to a reply saw Schmeichel make another fine save to keep out a deflected Mee shot.
A solid defensive display ensured that City earned all three points and the miracle was still on.
Four wins from four games, for the first time in the top flight since 1966, took City out of the relegation zone…

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shakell, Mee, Boyd (Wallace 70), Jones, Arfield, Taylor (Kightly 86), Ings, Jutkiewicz (Sordell 70). Subs Not Used: Gilks, Keane, Ward, Ulvestad.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Wasilewski, Huth, Morgan, Albrighton (De Laet 70), King, Cambiasso, Drinkwater (James 77), Konchesky, Vardy, Ulloa (Kramric 65). Subs Not Used: Upson, Mahrez, Schwarzer, Wood.

Referee: Mr. A. Taylor. Attendance: 19,582.

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Leicester on the up after Swansea are beaten at the King Power

Leicester City 2:0 Swansea City

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City’s revival extended to three consecutive wins after a spirited 2-0 victory over Swansea at the KPS on Saturday…

Nigel Pearson made three changes, with Wasilewski, King and Kramarić coming in. But plans were disrupted during the warm-up when Nugent strained a calf and Ulloa was promoted from the bench.
City were set up to attack and did that from the first whistle – taking the lead after a quarter of an hour.
A long ball forward from Wasilewski was diverted by Morgan into the path of Ulloa who gleefully slotted it home from 8 yards.

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Soon after that opening goal had raised the crowd to a new pitch of excitement, Albrighton made good progress through the Swans defence but couldn’t apply the finishing touch, sending his shot wide of the left hand post.
The visitors had their first on target effort when a Sigurdsson shot was comfortably fielded by Schmeichel.
They then gained more possession up to the break, but didn’t come close to an equaliser.

Pearson brought De Laet on for Wasilewski for the second half as City went for the jugular again.
Albrighton and Kramarić both went close before Ulloa sent a header just over the bar, but Swansea also threatened.
Schmeichel produced a fine block with his left leg to deny Oliveira in a one-on-one and then got down well to a Shelvey effort to preserve City’s lead.
Pearson then brought on Mahrez for Ulloa and Drinkwater for Kramarić.
From a Swansea corner City broke upfield at pace and Vardy fed Mahrez perhaps slightly too late allowing Fabiański to come out and block his effort.
City broke again when Drinkwater sent Vardy clear on goal, and he was bundled over by Williams for a clear cut penalty, but yet again this season the ref didn’t agree.
Vardy sent a shot over and then Mahrez forced a good save from Fabiański with a low shot as the tension mounted in the final ten minutes. That was finally relieved with a minute left on the clock when City doubled their lead.
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Cambiasso, who had been superb all afternoon, fired a 20 yard free-kick through the wall which seemed to deceive Fabiański at the last moment. It bounced back off his knee to King who bundled it over the line from close in to get the KPS bouncing.
For the first time since November City were off the bottom of the Premier League and after some jubilant scenes at the end of the game Nigel Pearson urged some caution: “The danger is that people start believing that the job is done. It is far from it; there’s still a long way to go. We have still got six games left and we have to get as many points as possible from them, which is going to be a big challenge.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Huth, Wasilewski (De Laet 46), Morgan, Schlupp, King, Cambiasso, Albrighton, Ulloa (Mahrez 68), Vardy, Kramarić (Drinkwater 74). Subs Not Used: Konchesky, James, Lawrence, Schwarzer.
Swansea: Fabiański, Amat, Ki (Montero 58), Williams, Shelvey, Routledge (Dyer 70), Oliveira (Emnes 75), Rangel, Sigurdsson, Cork, Fernández. Subs Not Used: Britton, Grimes, Tremmel, Bartley.
Referee: L Probert. Attendance: 31,121.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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Leicester snatch a priceless win at the Hawthorns

West Bromwich Albion 2:3 Leicester City

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An injury-time winner from Vardy gave City a Premier League life-line against West Brom at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

There was one change to City’s line-up with Albrighton in for Mahrez.
It wasn’t the easiest day to visit The Hawthorns with Albion celebrating ‘Astle Day’ and wearing 1968 vintage kit in honour of Jeff Astle. And by the time the Albion fans marked the ninth minute with their usual applause in his memory they were already a goal up.
In the 6th minute Lescott had enjoyed the freedom of the City six yard box but sent his header from a Gardner free-kick over.
Two minutes later there was similar slack marking from another flag kick on the right and Brunt’s corner was glanced on at the near post by Fletcher. Although Cambiasso managed an acrobatic clearance from under the bar, goal-line technology placed the ball a foot over the line.
Although this was a blow for City they were back on terms 12 minutes later. Quick thinking from Cambiasso saw him launch a free-kick 50 yards upfield, Ulloa nodded it into the path of Nugent who conjured up a neat finish past Myhill.
This didn’t last long however, with City again lookng fragile at the back in the 25th minute.
A cross from the left was nodded back by Ideye and Gardner’s shot from 12 yards took a deflection off Morgan and beat Schmeichel.
City were undaunted at going behind a second time and enjoyed a spell of pressure up to the break, though they missed out on a good chance to go in level at half-time. Nugent’s clever back-header teed up an Albrighton cross for Ulloa, but the Argentinian sent his effort flying over the bar from six yards out.
Wasilewski came on for De Laet for the second half and City continued to press forward.
After 15 minutes of good possession but no clear-cut chances Pearson brought King on for James and then Mahrez replaced Ulloa.
In what was now and open, end-to-end encounter City finally made the breakthrough with ten minutes remaining.
After a period of pressure City gained a corner on the left. Cambiasso fed it back to Albrighton who delivered a cross into the penalty area. Nugent sent it looping back across goal to Wasilewski whose header set up Huth, who nodded past Myhill to get the away section roaring their approval.
Far from being satisfied with a point, City continued to press and this ambition was rewarded in time-added-on.
Vardy chased a Cambiasso clearance up-field and out-muscled McAuley on the left-hand touchline, robbing him of possession and then bearing down on goal. He outpaced Lescott, giving himself the half a yard he needed to beat Myhill with a superb low angled drive that had the away fans celebrating even more manically.
There was no time for Albion to reply, and City had gained another vital three points on a weekend when other results went well.
Although City remained bottom of the Premier League, they were in a very different position to that of eight days previously…

Albion: Myhill, Dawson, Brunt, Yacob, McAuley, Lescott, Morrison (Sessegnon 85), Gardner (Olsson 73), Berahino, Ideye (Anichebe 60), Fletcher. Subs Not Used: Rose, Wisdom, Baird, McManaman.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Wasilewski 46), Morgan, Huth, Schlupp, Cambiasso, James (King 60), Albrighton, Nugent, Vardy, Ulloa (Mahrez 64). Subs Not Used: Konchesky, Drinkwater, Schwarzer, Kramarić.

Referee: M Atkinson. Attendance:
26,768.

PHOTO: Paul Coulson

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The Fox – The Leicester City fanzine – now on Facebook…

The Fox now has a Facebook page. No point rushing into these things.

fox facebook

Come and join in the fun, and give us a ‘like’ – cheers.
https://www.facebook.com/thefoxfanzine

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Leicester survive last chance saloon with a win against West Ham

Leicester City 2:1 West Ham United

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City handed themselves a lifeline with a hard-fought 2-1 win over West Ham at the KPS on Saturday.

I’m not normally a fan of corporate-led organised fun, but the ‘clappers’ fastened to every seat in the King Power Stadium appeared to have the effect of lifting the crowd participation beyond the usual L1 and Ultras Corner.
There was a definite atmosphere about the place that was different to the air of resignation of recent months.
Perhaps it was also the realisation that this really was City’s last chance to launch a Great Escape bid.

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Nigel Pearson made one change to his side with Mahrez returning for the injured Upson in a more attacking line-up.
And, roared on by a near sell-out crowd, City made early progress taking a 12th minute lead.
A loose ball sat up nicely for Cambiasso just outside the area and his sweetly struck half-volley flew past Adrián and into the net.
City’s great start should have been even better after a quarter of an hour when Ulloa was floored by Jenkinson in the area for a penalty so obvious that even Leicester were awarded it. Adrián strolled up to Nugent and had a word in his ear before the penalty kick, before producing a fine save to his left, although he was clearly yards off his line.
Sakho almost equalised soon after but was denied by Schlupp, as West Ham enjoyed their best spell of the game.
This lead to an equaliser in the 32nd minute when Schlupp misjudged Song’s lofted ball, missing his attempted header and  leaving Kouyaté free to pick his spot past Schmeichel.

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1-1 at the break, Albrighton replaced Mahrez for the second half and City were on the front foot once again.
They were struggling to get an effort on target, however. Huth headed wide from a Cambiasso free-kick and then Schlupp fired well wide after being sent in on the left. Vardy then went close with a header, before firing a shot wide after being played in by Nugent.
But West Ham were always dangerous on the break: Downing fired a shot narrowly wide and then Sakho’s low drive hit the foot of the left hand post as the game developed into a genuine end-to-end thriller.
Schmeichel produced a fine save to deny Kouyaté, while Reid blocked a Nugent shot.
Pearson brought Kramarić on for Ulloa and then King for De Laet as City pursued the win they so desperately needed.
It looked as though Kramarić would surely put City ahead with 7 minutes to go, but Cresswell blocked his shot on the line with a superb piece of defending.
City’s big moment finally arrived in the 87th minute, and no one cared that it was a scrappy goal. From a James free-kick Vardy’s mis-cued shot trundled to King who prodded it home via Adrián’s knee, the roar of delight nearly lifting the roof off the stadium.

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Soon after Vardy missed a one-on-one chance against the keeper, but neither that, or the penalty miss, mattered when the final whistle heralded a long-awaited victory.
QPR’s win at West Brom meant that City remained bottom, but this result and the manner in which it was gained, gave back a little hope to the fans who have stood by their club in a tough season.

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (King 79), Morgan, James, Vardy, Huth, Schlupp, Cambiasso, Ulloa (Kramarić 72), Mahrez (Albrighton 46), Nugent. Subs Not Used: Konchesky, Drinkwater, Wasilewski, Schwarzer.
West Ham: Adrián, Reid, Cresswell, Nolan (Amalfitano 65), Kouyaté, Downing, Sakho (Cole 79), Noble, Jenkinson, Collins, Song (Nenê 88). Subs Not Used: Jarvis, O’Brien, Demel, Jääskeläinen.

Referee: M Clattenburg. Attendance: 31,863.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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